City agrees to let taxi service keep subsidyJamestown Taxi Service, also known as City Taxi, will continue to receive a subsidy for at least one more year, the Jamestown City Council decided Monday.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
Jamestown Taxi Service, also known as City Taxi, will continue to receive a subsidy for at least one more year, the Jamestown City Council decided Monday.
The action came during the council’s regular meeting after the issue was removed from the consent agenda.
“I don’t think a subsidy is necessary once there are two taxi services in business,” said Mayor Katie Andersen. “They should compete free of government subsidies.”
Jamestown Taxi and Last Leg Taxi operate in Jamestown. Jamestown Taxi receives a subsidy in the amount of half of its financial loses.
The grant money used for the subsidy originates from the U.S. Department of Transportation and is collected from fuel taxes. The grant program is administered by the North Dakota Department of Transportation. There is no local tax money involved in the subsidy, said Jeff Fuchs, city administrator.
“We wouldn’t be here if the subsidy wasn’t there,” said Doug Fogderud, owner of Jamestown Taxi Service. “It concerns me for the future. If the subsidy weren’t in place I’d be out of business tomorrow.”
Andersen said she had not reviewed the financial status of the taxi service.
“I have not looked at the finances,” she said. “The subsidy covers half of losses but you can make anything look like anything on paper. If there are two services there is a demand.”
Ramone Gumke, city councilman, was concerned about the staff effort required to process the grant application.
Councilman Ken Schulz was concerned it was unfair to the business to abruptly end the subsidy grant.
“This would pull the rug out from under them,” he said.
Schulz then moved to authorize the application for the grant for one more year but to inform the owner of the service that it would be reviewed next year. This motion passed unanimously.
In other business, the City Council approved a gaming license for a poker tournament sponsored by Ducks Unlimited and a raffle permit for a Relay for Life team known as 4 the Family.
Approved on the consent agenda were the final plans for closing Second Street East as part of the Runnin O’ the Green as well as issuing permits for Buffalo Lanes, Frontier Fort & Grill, Corner Bar, Office Bar & Lounge, Shady’s, Trax Bar, Vets Club and Wonder Bar to sell alcohol outdoors as part of the event.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at email@example.com